What Is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is an official licensed by the government to authenticate signatures and documents and witness affidavits or statements of persons under oath. This lends credibility to legal and business documents for use both domestically and internationally.

For documentation intended for international use, additional processes like legalization and obtaining an Apostille may be required. GAM Legal Alliance’s Notary Service Attorneys can assist you in this process.

Authentication of Documents

In most countries, a notary is an official licensed by the government to authenticate signatures or documents and witness affidavits or statements made under oath. In Thailand, the Lawyers Council grants lawyers the Notarial Services Attorney role to enable them to function as notaries public or attestation agents.

The consular section of the US Embassy in Bangkok can provide notarial services such as acknowledgment of signature and power of attorney and certified copies of passports. However, there are certain notarial services the embassy cannot perform and these include notarized copies of academic certificates, marriage, birth or divorce certificates issued in the US and that require authentication from the Department of State.

Documents that originated outside of Thailand, such as a University Degree, Non-Criminal Background Check, Corporate Documents or Affidavits will need to be notarized and then authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Legalization Division (some English documents issued by Thai official agencies do not need to be notarized and can be directly submitted for authentication). Siam Legal can assist with the process of having your documents notarized and then authenticated.

Witnessing Signatures

Many countries require that documents or signatures to be used in their territory are authenticated or legalized. In this case, a Notary Public can be of assistance.

In Thailand, we have around 4,000 Thai lawyers who have been notified by the Lawyers Council to operate as “notarial services attorneys” and can authenticate signatures or affidavits. However, the country has never enacted legislation to inaugurate a notary system and these notary services attorneys do not have the authority to administer oaths nor are they bonded.

As Thailand is not a member of the Hague Convention on Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, you may need to have your notarized documents further legalized or authenticated at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand or at your embassy in Bangkok. Siam Legal can assist with this.

Affidavits and Oaths

In most countries, a Notary Public is an official fully licensed to put into practice the authentication of documents or signatures and witness affidavits or statements of persons under oath. A notarized document is recognized as authentic because it has been certified by a neutral person and guaranteed by law.

In Thailand, there is no notary public but around 4,000 Thai qualified lawyers have been endorsed by the Lawyers Council to function as “notarial services attorneys” under a regulation released in 2008. As far as we know, the government has never implemented legislation inaugurating a notary public system in this country. Nevertheless, there are times that certain documents require the authentication or certification of a notary in order to be accepted in another jurisdiction or to be taken to your Embassy for legalization. These include proof of address, passports, birth certificates and powers of attorney. These are usually required by institutions such as banks, schools or governments.

Consular Services

Whether it is for a passport application, visa extension, or affidavits for work, many Thai citizens need documents authenticated and certified. A notary is an official whose job it is to verify and validate signatures, witness oaths and statements of individuals under oath and certify and authenticate documents of different classes.

Authenticated documents are often required by institutions like banks, schools, foreign embassies and private companies. Authentication of signatures and documents is done by a Notary or Notary Service attorney, who are authorized by the Lawyers Council of Thailand to perform authentication services regulated under the law.

The Consular Section of the US Embassy in Bangkok and Chiang Mai has suspended all nonimmigrant visa and notarial services until further notice. When routine services resume, we will post an announcement on this page. Thank you for your patience and understanding. The Embassy is currently focused on assisting American citizens with emergency requests and monitoring the COVID-19 crisis.

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